This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.
With long careers in the mobile industry in the UK and Ireland, Martyn Gould and Paul Doyle know a thing or two about choosing the right tariff, but most people don’t. Even price comparison websites leave you to your own devices when it comes to guessing how many minutes, messages and gigabytes you really need.
That’s why today Gould and Doyle have launched Yboo, an app that makes picking the right tariff super simple. The Android app monitors the way you use your phone and within 24 hours figures out which providers and plans are best for you. Then it’s just a tap away to the provider’s website to get switching.
“The system is broken,” Gould says. “People overpay because they don’t know any better.” He cites a 2015 Which? study that found the average UK consumer overpaid by £159 per year.
Yboo (an acronym for ‘you’re better off on…’) is based in Leeds, where Gould and Doyle have been through Entrepreneurial Spark‘s business support programme. Having bootstrapped the business to date, they’re now looking for investors and staff to help push the business further forward.
A tricky next move will be expanding Yboo onto the iPhone. iOS makes it harder to work with the kind of data the startup needs to make its app work, but it’s not an impossibility, believes Gould.
In fact, working with Yboo could make perfect sense for Apple. Some 4G-enabled iPads already have an embedded SIM that lets you select a provider and tariff without physically swapping cards. There has been gossip about the possibility of this approach coming to iPhones. Yboo would be perfect in that case, and help stir up more competitive pricing.
The app itself is simple right now, but gets the job done. One thing I’d like to see is better sorting options, so I could only see the single most suitable deal from each provider, for example. Sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming. Still, it’s early days and this is an intriguing approach to choosing a new contract.
Yboo is currently mulling a move to Manchester. If that happens, it will share a city with Airtime Rewards, a Northern Stars startup with a similarly forward-looking approach to mobile contracts and billing.
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